Tension intensifies as Vuwani residents block roads, cops fire rubber bullets

Clashes between residents and police continued this evening after calm was restored earlier.

Barbed wire has been placed around a local shopping complex in Vuwani. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

VUWANI - The situation has escalated in Vuwani where residents have attempted to block the main road leading towards Thohoyandou.

Clashes between residents and police continued this evening after calm was restored earlier.

At least 13 schools have been torched in the area since the weekend during protests over municipal demarcations.

Last week, the residents lost a High Court bid to have Vuwani excluded from the Malamulele Municipality and started protesting in two villages in the Levubu area.

Community members placed burning tree branches across the main road leading out of the town and pelted the approaching vehicles with rocks.

While police drove through the flames, other motorists were forced to turn back.

Some community members were heard whistling before starting their attack on the passing cars.

As the sun set, police conducted a foot patrol along one of the main roads then quickly returned to the police station.

Earlier, rubber bullets were fired to disperse gathering crowds.

Police also opened fire on a group of young people who blockaded the main road from Thohoyandou and stoned passing cars.

Barbed wire has also been placed around a local shopping complex.

The situation remains tense with a visible police presence.